Grassroot Soccer works with Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to deliver HIV prevention education to youth in some of the most remote, under-resourced areas of the world. This partnership changes the lives of young people in communities hardest hit by HIV and AIDS, builds the capacity of local leaders, and sets Peace Corps Volunteers up for success by providing step-by-step instructions and continued program support.
A short video about Peace Corps SKILLZ:
What is it? Peace Corps SKILLZ is a step-by-step youth HIV prevention program designed specifically for Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and their communities. PCVs and their local counterparts receive the key materials and on-going support needed to deliver this fun, proven-effective program to youth ages 10-19. Peace Corps SKILLZ was designed and tested by PCVs themselves and is effective even with a minimum of training and resources.
How does soccer prevent HIV? By using activity-based learning, sports analogies, and the latest research in HIV prevention, Grassroot Soccer programs connect young people with the information they need to stay healthy. Youth enjoy being active and the usual barriers around talking about sex and HIV/AIDS begin to break down as youth build relationships with you and their SKILLZ Coaches. After graduating from a SKILLZ program, youth show an increase in knowledge about HIV, an increased willingness to talk about HIV/ AIDS, as well as a decrease in stigma towards those who may be infected or are living with HIV/AIDS.
INFORMATION FOR PCVs
How is the program delivered? Peace Corps SKILLZ is a series of 11 one-hour practices (sessions), plus a graduation, that you will deliver in conjunction with a local counterpart. You can deliver one or two sessions per week, or combine all of them into a week-long ‘camp’-style format – whatever will work best in your community. The Grassroot Soccer team can help you decide which program will work best.
“It is an amazing program and it really gets through to the students who participate. Working on [this program] gave meaning to my Peace Corps service.” ~ Kelli DePriest, PCV, Football for Lives, St. Lucia, 2009-11
“GRS helps you accomplish something significant and personal, helps you integrate. It’s perfect for educational volunteers.” ~ Samantha Croffut, PCV, Community HIV/AIDS Outreach Program (CHOP), South Africa, 2011-2013
How much does it cost? Peace Corps SKILLZ is designed to be successful without many resources. We can help you design a budget and program for the type of program your community is ready for. You may be able to receive SPA, VAST, or Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) funds for your program. GRS has different relationships with various Peace Corps countries. Please contact us to learn more about how we are working in your country of service!
Who can participate?
- PCVs based in Africa, Latin America, or the Carribean region.
- Have at least 12 months left in your service.
- Have access to youth between the ages of 12-19.
- Show strong interest in running a life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention & awareness program in your local community.
- Have at least 8-10 hours per week to devote to this project.
- Work with at least one, ideally two, local counterparts who are willing to actively participate.
- Have occasional internet or phone access to communicate with Grassroot Soccer.
- Be willing to complete required reports on program activities.
- Obtain agreement from your APCD and/or local supervisor to begin the program.